Crow's Nest Studio

Crow's Nest Studio

4.6 (7)
Best of 2020
5 hires on
4 years in business

About this pro

I am a lifelong multi-media artist, but painting is my first love.  I paint in a variety of styles, mostly in acrylic, but also in oil and watercolor.  
I'm a full time working artist.  I closed my business in 2013 to devote my time to working on my art and jewerly design business full time.  It has been far more successful than I ever dreamed!  I had a large successful show in the summer of 2016, and have been selling paintings online since then.  15 paintings in the last year.  
My emphasis in teaching is on innovative tools, mixed mediums, and new approaches to mainstream painting practices.  I do my best to tailor my classes to the individual students skill level and desired goals.
My website is   There you can see all of the different things I do (and can teach) 
I have three facebook pages: Mad Island Artist-Diane Marie,  Diane Marie: Jewelry, and Crows Nest Studio.

Creating helps me to feel grounded and centered in a chaotic world.  I feel that what I do--the things I create and paint--give others a little refuge from stress as well, by providing a space people can experience that brings them to a more peaceful reality.
I also use my work to promote charitable efforts such as helping the homeless, animal rescue shelters, and emergency funding for those struggling with health issues or financial loss.  It feels good to give to the community I am a part of.  

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Minneapolis, MN 55408
Email verified
Phone verified

7 Reviews


  • Kathleen Lipke

    Diane is a multi talented artist who shares her love, knowledge and wide range of interests and mediums so freely. Most important we had FUN! I'm looking forward to more lessons with Diane .

  • Michele Kornaus

    The relaxed nature of the lessons is what I like best about lessons at the Crow's Nest Studio.

  • Sana Farooq

    I had fun working with Diane! We worked in a cute little art studio. She had lots of different art materials to work with. Great experience!

  • Michele Kornaus

    The casual nature of Diane is very much appreciated. I feel very comfortable with her. I’m looking forward to learning more from her!

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Photos & Videos


What is your typical process for working with a new student?

 Start with introductions, with students writing down what their artistic goals are.  I give a brief bio of my art career, as well as how I think I can help them achieve their goals.
1.  Determine their skill level, and their comfort level in order to choose an appropriate project.
2. Describe the project steps, and show examples of finished projects to inspire and prepare the student/s for the project.
3. Show and discuss materials for project.
4. Discuss the project using photos to describe the various steps involved.
5. Begin project.
6. At midpoint, have discussion of how student/s feel the project is going, and whether they are pleased with their progress.
7. At completion of project, discuss the importance of critique, and allow student/s to critique self and others (only on a voluntary basis.  I do not require this.)

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I studied Fine Art and Graphic design at North Hennipen Community College in Brooklyn Park, MN.  I was on the honor roll with a 4.0 grade average every semester, and I won awards for several of my projects.
I have worked with friends and relatives in a relaxed teaching setting in various places I have lived--some children, but mostly adults.
I have painted "plein air" in numerous places, describing the steps of my paintings as I go, to onlookers.
I have taught "Paint and sip" classes--both with wine and "Sober Paint and Sip".

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

Currently, my classes are $35 for a 2 hour class.
  I provide all materials, including tabletop easel, brushes, paint, and a small (6 x 6) deep profile gallery wrapped canvas.  (I have found that smaller canvases are less intimidating for students to finish in a limited time.) Students may bring their own beverage and snack.

*My classes are for adults ONLY.  My studio is not a suitable environment for children, due to tools, materials, loft ladder, etc.*

How did you get started teaching?

My first teaching experience was when my niece was a child.  She spent a lot of time with me, and was very interested in whatever I was doing, so when she spent the day with me, we often did art projects together, especially on rainy days.

In later years, it became a social thing.  Friends would get together and paint, and we taught each other how to draw and paint.  I even posed for classes, because it's difficult to get models who can be still for long periods of time.  I think it's important to know what its' like on both sides of the easel.
Where I live in the summer, there are art workshops for the local and visiting children.  (It's a tourist town.)  I often volunteered to help the kids with their projects.

What types of students have you worked with?

Some children--family and children of friends, but mostly adults.  PLEASE NOTE: * I am not currently offering classes for children.  There are too many things in my studio that are not childproof or child friendly. *
I particularly enjoy working with students who are interested in learning about art but who are intimidated by it, or think that say "I'm not an artist".  We are ALL artists!  You just have to find what you're good at, and you can GET good at anything, simply by DOING it.  After 50+ years of painting and creating, I am still learning!

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I helped a person who is a quadrupelegic make a sculpture, using his vision of the project, his voice and direction, and my hands.  It was one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had.  It was very difficult, to say the least.  He was not able to draw it or show me visually in any way, and I am a visual learner, not an auditory one.  So I was forced to really focus on what he was saying, and to ask questions, to be sure I understood what he wanted, because it involved cutting and drilling, etc. Things you can't UNDO!

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Find someone whose work you like and admire, but also someone you feel comfortable with and drawn to in a social way.  If there's a personality clash, you aren't going to have a good experience!  I had an instructor in college that people raved about, but I found him to be domineering, intimidating and boorish, and it was a really bad experience for me.

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

1. What about art excites and inspires you?
2. What about art scares or intimidates you?
3. Who are your favorite artists, and why?
4. What specifically do you want to learn?
5. What are your artistic goals?  Do you want a hobby?  A sideline income?  Main Income from art?  Fame and fortune?

Lessons offered

Painting Classes Abstract Painting Lessons Acrylic Painting Lessons Sculpting Classes Oil Painting Classes Watercolor Painting Lessons